Govt battling with job creation

2012-06-01 14:04

Job creation initiatives across government departments remain a challenge, according to a mid-term report tabled today.

While “possibly over 350 000 jobs” were created last year, employment levels are still below those of 2008, before the recession, according to the “Mid-Term Review of the Priorities of Government”, tabled by Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane in Pretoria.

The document – which looks at the period 2009 to November last year, halfway through the 2009 to 2014 electoral term – further notes that youth unemployment “remains a serious challenge”.

On education, the report calls for the department of basic education to strengthen its textbook distribution logistics, “with clear targets so that workbooks and textbooks arrive on time”.

This was “still not the case in all provinces”.

On the matric percentage pass rate, it says while this is on an upward trend, the overall average marks are not improving.
“There is an ongoing challenge to improve the quality of passes.”

On housing, the review finds rapid urban migration has resulted in “a sharp increase in housing demand and informal settlement growth”.

“There were ... 1.2 million households in more than 2500 informal settlements, and 1.1 million in overcrowded and under-serviced conditions.”

A graph included in the document shows a three-fold increase in service delivery protests since 2008, while satisfaction with local government continues to fall sharply.

The report further shows it is doubtful government will achieve its targets of providing 100% access to adequate sanitation by 2014, or 92% access to an electricity supply in the same year.

It calls for a “particular focus on improving access (to basic service targets) in the rural districts with the highest backlogs”.

On the environment, the review finds 34% of South Africa’s terrestrial ecosystems, 82% of its main river ecosystems and 65% of its marine bio-zones are threatened.

Half of the country’s wetlands have already been destroyed.

It says water demand is expected to rise by 52% over the next 30 years, while the supply of water is likely to decline if the country lost more wetlands and if leaks from old and poorly-maintained municipal infrastructure persist.

On land reform, the review records that overall, including redistribution and restitution, 6.7 million hectares of land have been transferred between 1994 and last year.

“This represents 27% of the target of transferring 24.5 million hectares by 2014.”

Further, 11 000 new smallholder farmers were established on the land since 2009, against a target of 50 000.

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